Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (2-3, 1-1 OVC) at UT Martin Skyhawks (1-5, 0-3 OVC)
Thursday, Oct. 9 • 6:30 p.m. CT
Hardy M. Graham Stadium (7,500) • Martin, Tenn.
TV OVC Digital Network
Series Record: Tennessee Tech leads 22-11-2
Last Meeting: UT Martin won 28-7 (10/10/13)
Tennessee Tech Last Week: W, 30-27 vs. Murray State (OT)
UT Martin Last Week:……. L, 38-14 at #8 Jacksonville State
GAME NOTES: Tennessee Tech will travel to UT Martin for the final Thursday night game on the OVC schedule this season. The game is part of the Sgt. York Trophy series which is contested between the four OVC football-playing schools from that state of Tennessee. The teams have played competitive games over the last five years with the average margin of victory being just five points. Last year’s 11-point UTM victory was the largest by either team since 2008; in that contest the Skyhawks scored 21 points in the second quarter to grab a 28-3 halftime advantage and not look back. DJ McNeil rushed for 168 yard and a touchdown while Jarod Neal completed 21-of-29 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown. Jared Davis tossed two touchdowns for the Golden Eagles while Cody Matthews finished the game with seven catches for 130 yards and a score.
SCOUTING TENNESSEE TECH: Tennessee Tech evened its OVC record at 1-1 on the season with a come-from-behind 30-27 victory over Murray State in overtime. The game was back-and-forth the entire way with the two teams tied at 3, 10, 17, 24 and 27. MSU pulled ahead 27-24 with 1:29 to play in the fourth quarter before Tech engineered an 8-play, 38-yard drive that was capped by a 41-yard field goal from redshirt freshman John Arnold to force overtime. That final drive of regulation included a 17-yard completion on 4th-and-8 and a fumble recovery after quarterback Jared Davis fumbled. After Murray State failed on its field goal attempt to start overtime, Tech drove to the Racer three-yard line before Arnold capped the game with a 20-yard field goal to earn OVC Specialist of the Week honors. Arnold connected on three total field goals in the game and is 4-of-5 in field goals and 11-of-11 in extra point attempts this season.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Trey Thompson earned OVC Newcomer of the Week honors after registering 15 total tackles in the win. Ladarius Vanlier returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, his second career kickoff return for a score; Vanlier currently ranks sixth nationally in kickoff returns (31.6 yards/return) and seventh in punt returns (14.5 yards/return). Vanlier finished the game with 185 all-purpose yards and is now 10th in TTU history with 2,901 career all-purpose yards. As a team Tech ranks ninth nationally in fewest penalties/game (4.6) and 16th in tackles-for-loss (8.7/game).
SCOUTING UT MARTIN: UT Martin lost its third-straight game on Saturday, falling at No. 8 Jacksonville State by a 38-14 margin. The Skyhawks have now played two nationally-ranked FCS teams, a FCS squad that is now ranked and a FBS opponent so far this season. The team fell behind 21-0 to Jax State and could never get an offensive attack going, registering only 216 yards of total offense for the day (its lowest out in 51 games dating back to the 2010 season). Trent Garland scored the team’s only offensive touchdown of the day, scoring from two yards out in the fourth quarter; he had a team-high 39 rushing yards for the game. Dylan Favre got his first start of the season at quarterback and completed 6-of-20 passes for 25 yards; Jarod Neal entered the game later and completed 6-of-13 passes for 63 yards.
All-American linebacker Tony Bell (who is 1 of 2 OVC players on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List) scooped up a fumble at the JSU and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter; he finished the game with seven tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry. Bell currently ranks fourth nationally in fumbles recovered (2) and 27th in tackles-for-loss/game (1.6). Punter James Satterfield punted 11 times for a UTM single-game record 487 yards (44.3 yards/punt) with a long of 56 yards.